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Author Susan Galleymore on "Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War and Terror"

StoryMay 08, 2009
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Susan Galleymore

founder of MotherSpeak, host of Raising Sand Radio, and a GI Rights counselor. Her son served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and her latest book is a collection of essays on war and its consequences based on her interviews with mothers across the United States and the Middle East. It’s called Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War and Terror.

Author Susan Galleymore’s son served in Iraq and Afghanistan. For her latest book, Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War and Terror, Galleymore traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, the US, and Israel and the Occupied Territories to interview other mothers about war and its consequences. [includes rush transcript]

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: My final guest is Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak Out About War and Terror author Susan Galleymore, who went to visit her son in Iraq. On this day leading up to Mother’s Day, your comments?

SUSAN GALLEYMORE: Well, I want to just reiterate everything that David Barstow just said, because I feel like we, the people, don’t understand what’s going on in these wars. We don’t understand who the people are that we are fighting. We don’t understand who the Iraqis are. We don’t understand who the Afghan people are.

And we, the mothers of this country, need to learn. So, what I would like to say to mothers this Mother’s Day is, instead of going out for brunch, say to your family, “Let’s stay home and learn who these people are. Let’s learn what these wars are about. Let’s learn why, for example, someone like Anwar Jawad would have her whole family slaughtered on the streets by people, our troops, our troops. So let’s learn. Let’s learn who the Afghan people are.”

Why did we just have 150 civilians killed in Afghanistan? They called it a random shooting incident in Baghdad when people are killed in the street. What do they call it when we bomb people in Afghanistan, civilians, women and children? We need to understand this. And I want the mothers of the United States to understand that we can stay home, instead of go out for brunch, and learn about this. And we can learn why our children in the military want to get out of there so desperately.

AMY GOODMAN: You visited your son in Iraq.


AMY GOODMAN: Did he know you were coming?

SUSAN GALLEYMORE: He did. He wasn’t very pleased about it. But I wanted to say to my kid, “Don’t do anything in this country that you will be ashamed of, because it will haunt you for the rest of your life.” And we see that now with the young people coming home killing themselves, you know, traumatized. We need to understand why that is happening.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you very much, Susan Galleymore, for joining us. Her book is called Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War and Terror, in this lead-up to Mother’s Day.

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